Parent-Educator Connection Newsletter Vol 9, Num 2
December 2015
Website Guide
Document Guide

Parent  Support  Groups

 
 
PEC Find Families pg 2
GKSN: 
Grandparents of Kids with Special Needs 
 We believe that no one understands a grand-parent's unique joys and concerns better than another grandparent of a child with special needs. 

On the GKSN website,   grandparents will have a chance to meet other grandparents through our Yahoogroup or Facebook groups, share ideas for supporting their kids and grandkids, and even post pictures of their grandkids! 

Please visit  www.gksn.org  and help us spread the word! 
PEC Logo
Welcome to the Parent-Educator Connection E-Newsletter!
Dear Parents & Educators, 

Happy December!

We hope you are enjoying our electronic version of the Parent Educator Connection newsletter.  

Please share with parents, service providers or anyone you feel might benefit from this newsletter.  We appreciate your help in the distribution of this valuable resource.  If you would like a name added to the distribution list, please email the address below.  

We look forward to working with you and hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please let us know of topics you would like to see addressed in future issues.  

Annette Clarahan, annette.clarahan@gpaea.org
Kelly Wallace, kelly.wallace@gpaea.org
How to Hook Parents at the High School Level

By Zach Wigle, Keokuk High School Principal

PEC K Pride
PEC Keokuk  School Pic

Engage the student and their parents will follow!

Finding ways to connect parents is always a difficult task regardless of the level, or school demographics. It can become harder when you work in high poverty areas with disconnected families. In Keokuk, we have been able to identify some strategies that allow parents to feel more welcome and connected within the walls of our schools. I don't have all of the answers, but what our high school staff has been able to do over the  last three years has been a catalyst in our school improvement efforts. At Keokuk High School, we believe that K-Pride has made a huge impact in regards to parent engagement and involvement and it starts with the students.

K-Pride is a mindset that highlights the importance of building relationships with our students. When students feel more connected, parents will feel the same way. There is no real program or set of guidelines that we have followed, but our staff has bought into  this mindset of "relationships first" and the results are impressive. If I could highlight three things that have aided our efforts they would be Communication, Positive Contacts, and Special Events. Below you will see a list of things we have done that fall under each of these categories.


Communication 
Positive Contacts
Special Events
K-Pride Facebook page
Home visits in the summer 
K-Pride Block Party
Parent Syllabi 
Weekly calls/notes home from staff members
Stepping Towards Success banquet
Youth Leadership Team
Celebrating small wins 
School Community Council Meetings
SMORE flyers
Student/Staff/Parent Surveys
Thank Yous/Raise the Praise 
Lunch and Learn with parents


As Marzano states, "Schools that are highly effective produce results that almost entirely overcome the effects of student or family background." I can't thank our staff enough for all of the hard work they have put in over the last few years. Our graduation rate is the highest it has been in a long time at 91%. We only had nine students drop out of high school last year (less than 1.5%) compared to over 6% the previous five years. Student achievement is also climbing, and this spring we will be anxious to see the results of all of this hard work. I have included a link that will give you access to many of the documents and resources that may give you some ideas. If you have any questions, or ever need anything, please contact me.

Zach Wigle
High School Principal at Keokuk High School
319-795-6493 Twitter: @wiglezac
PEC 2015 Albia RESPECT

A&E NETWORK TO PREMIERE NEW ORIGINAL DOCU-SERIES


TUESDAY, DECEMBER 8 AT 10:00 PM ET/PT

SERIES OFFERS AN INTIMATE LOOK INTO THE LIVES OF YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN BORN WITH DOWN SYNDROME

A&E PARTNERING WITH BEST BUDDIES INTERNATIONAL TO RAISE AWARENESS AND ENCOURAGE OPPORTUNITES FOR PEOPLE WITH INTELLECTUAL AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

Together We Can Conference
May 7, 2016 - Des Moines, IA

 FREE for families to attend, stipends available, 
registration information will be out soon!

MARK YOUR CALENDAR
FREE!  Everyone Welcome!
Links of Interest
 

Assistive Technology
Great Prairie AEA's goal is to provide the equipment and supports needed for each individual student with an active IEP who requires assistive technology. Assistive technology (AT) is defined as any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. (The Technology-Related Assistance for individuals with Disabilities Act 1988, amended 1994)  AT should be considered during every IEP. The team should discuss which items are appropriate for the student, what is working, and what may not be working.

What supports and services are available through the AEA?

  AT Evaluations- Your team can request an AT evaluation for a student.

Atomic learning- Assistive Technology tutorials

SNAP checkout- The AEA has a variety of AT equipment, software, toys, and more available for check out.

Great Prairie AEA Assistive Tech webpage- Assistive Tech Team contacts, training opportunities and tools available on this page.
 
AT Sites to check out


ICater AT Tip of the day:



Special Needs Parents Talk About Raising Kids Pinterest Page

 
GPAEA LOGO
Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter View our profile on LinkedIn Find us on Google+ Find us on Pinterest         
Great Prairie Area Education Agency works as an educational partner with public and accredited, nonpublic schools to help students, school staff, parents and communities. Great Prairie AEA provides professional development and leadership to promote school improvement, a variety of instructional services, special education support services, and technology and media services. It is the policy of the Great Prairie Area Education Agency not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, creed, age (for employment), marital status (for programs), sexual orientation, gender identity and socioeconomic status (for programs) in its educational programs and its employment practices. There is a grievance procedure for processing complaints of discrimination. If you have questions or a grievance related to this policy please contact Greg Manske, 3601 West Avenue, Burlington, IA 52601, (319) 753-6561 x1217, greg.manske@gpaea.org (employment practices) or Deb Cook, 103 South A Street, Albia, IA 52531, (641) 932-5003 x5801, deb.cook@gpaea.org (educational programs).